Commitment to clean energy is among the criteria for earning recognition as an Environmental Champion.
OUC – The Reliable One has been named a 2022 Environmental Champion in Escalent’s Utility Trusted Brand and Customer Engagement study. Only 31 utilities in the nation received the honor, with OUC scoring the most points for “environmental dedication” among electric peers.
This is the fifth year in a row OUC has claimed Escalent’s recognition for environmental stewardship.
Environmental Champions are selected based on survey results from customers who rate their energy providers on sustainability stewardship in their business operations, provide energy efficiency programs to help lower consumption, support environmental causes and on their commitment to clean energy.
“As we celebrate Earth Month, OUC is proud that our customers recognize our long-standing commitment to sustainability and energy innovation, particularly as we work toward our goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Clint Bullock, OUC’s General Manager & CEO.
To determine Environmental Champions, Escalent conducted surveys among residential electric, natural gas and combination utility customers of the 140 largest U.S. utility companies over the last 12 months and scored the utilities on an Environmental Dedication index. Those scoring high enough on the index have been named Environmental Champions. The findings of the 2022 Utility Trusted Brand and Customer Engagement study can be viewed here.
In the past year, OUC has undertaken several environmental initiatives including:
- Breaking ground on the St. Cloud Operations & Maintenance Center (below), the first net-zero campus for a Florida utility. OUC’s state-of-the-art campus will reach net-zero emissions through conservation and efficiency practices and its use of renewable energy. The project includes several sustainable features, including rooftop solar panels, floating solar, high-efficiency water fixtures, rainwater harvesting tanks, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, walking and biking trails, and EV charging stations. Construction is expected to be completed in December 2023.
- Launching the 2030 Solar Pledge, in partnership with the City of Orlando, in October 2021. Participating commercial customers are pledging to be powered by 100% solar energy at their facilities by 2030. Businesses are required to use at least 10% solar energy upon signing, with the initial solar investment provided through OUCommunity Solar, which gives OUC’s commercial and residential customers access to sustainable, maintenance-free solar without the installation and costs associated with adding panels on their businesses or homes.
- Expanding investment and infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) through a $45 million commitment to innovative transportation electrification programs, including support for e-buses and EV charging hubs. OUC funded the installation of battery-charging stations for electric buses operated by LYNX, the regional public transit agency. Eight e-buses completed their first year of service in October 2021, eliminating carbon dioxide emissions by 101 tons compared with their diesel-powered predecessors. Six more e-buses are expected to hit the road this year. Additionally, construction began in February 2022 on the Robinson Recharge Mobility Hub, the OUC-led project that will feature up to 20 Level 3 charging stations in downtown Orlando. Expected to be completed later this year, the facility will be the largest of its kind in Florida, with the capability to charge all makes of battery-powered vehicles.